Spread of Buddhist Education in Sri Lanka; the role played by Col. Olcott and Theosophists-by Dr D Chandraratna

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Spread of Buddhist Education in Sri Lanka; the role played by Col. Olcott and Theosophists-by Dr D Chandraratna The Olcott Oration delivered to the Old Boys Association of Ananda College (November 2020, Perth, Western Australia) Source:Island It can be gauged from the Buddhist publications in and around 1880s that the ordinary Sinhalese were experiencing an acute sense of despair and disquiet that colonialism had brought about a social degeneration evidenced by increased consumption of liquor and associated problems of family violence, cattle stealing, gambling, and crime. Even the colonial civil servants from numerous districts complained to the Governor that social disorganization was affecting administration, revenue collection and policing. The Sinhalese Buddhist revivalist movement and a proper assessment of Col Olcott’s contribution must be understood in this context of the rising tide of Sinhala nationalism, Buddhist confrontation with Colonialism, Christian missionary activity and increasing westernization. The elite Buddhists including those culturally identified with the foreigner were not unaware that there was an imminent collapse of the civilizational heritage of the Sinhala…

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